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USF Finance team headed to state competition

Students from the College of Business will travel to Jacksonville on Saturday to compete in the state level competition, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Research Challenge.

The CFA Institute and its local charters set up a competition every year for finance students in which a group of three to five students are given a real companys stock to analyze and ultimately assess whether to buy, sell or hold the stock.

Each team will be given 10 minutes to make an oral presentation based off of their findings.

The purpose is to teach University students how to effectively research and analyze publicly traded companies, Brian Stype, director of the CFA Research Challenge said. The CFA Research Challenge has approximately 750 teams from around the globe, so we are trying to teach them the right way of doing things.

Competing team members include Josh Ali, Evan Burroughs, Carl Doirin, Chris Gryniewicz and Ryan McCollum. Jack Rader, a finance professor at the university, sponsors the team.

Because the judges already know what our recommended course of action is, the judging will mainly be on our presentation and how well we can pitch our recommendation, Doirin, a senior majoring in finance and accounting, said.

All students on the team are part of an applied security analysis course taught by Rader. In the course, students are given the chance to handle a real investment portfolio funded by donations to the program.

We manage $225,000 worth of stocks, Rader said. The class is responsible for researching, developing recommendations for, and presenting their ideas on what we should invest in to a board of professional asset managers. They are tough on them, but thats how it will be in the real world when you are managing money.

The CFA Research Challenge admits both graduate level students as well as undergraduates. While the USF team consists of only undergraduates, Doirin said he is not worried about being at a disadvantage because of what he has learned from the Applied Security Analysis course.

Other teams may have graduate students, Doirin said. But we have also had experience managing real investment portfolios that I dont think these other students may have.

Last month, all teams competing in the state of Florida were asked to give their analysis of, a publicly traded company that helps businesses build an online presence. The students submitted a ten-page report on the company, and the USF challenge team placed in the top four allowing them to advance to the state competition.

If the team wins at the state level, they will move on to Toronto, Canada to compete in the North American regionals.

All I want is for us to do our best in Jacksonville, Doirin said. If we can do that, Ill be happy. But if its a question of whether I think we can win it, I have seen some videos from the California competition and I think we can do just as well, if not better.